RealTime IT News

AOL, Universal Studios Form Marketing Alliance

Universal Studios and America Online Inc. (AOL) Tuesday sealed a marketing alliance that plans to leverage their mutual mass appeal to Internet users through a variety of integrated promotions.

The initial program lands AOL-branded kiosks at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida. The kiosks will enable AOL members to easily and conveniently send and receive e-mail, browse AOL content and access two of Universal Studio's Web sites.

Universal will extend its reach across the five AOL brands of Internet services and utilize a dedicated content page on AOL to promote their theme park and travel information. The marketing deal provides Universal exposure to over 20 million AOL, CompuServe, AOL.COM, Netscape Netcenter and Digital City users.

Hellene Runtagh, Universal Studios executive vice president, said expanding their online presence is just part of their overall marketing plan with AOL.

"This landmark alliance is an important step in our overall company initiative to maximize marketing opportunities through an expanded online presence for the Universal brand," Runtagh said. "It also lays the foundation for a long-term relationship with AOL, which is clearly the leading online service in the world. In addition to our theme parks, we are actively exploring opportunities enterprise-wide, including ways to accelerate our e-commerce activities by leveraging AOL's incredible reach."

Joe Redling, AOL senior vice president of brand marketing, said Universal's theme park is a great place for people who have never seen AOL to experience all that the online community offers.

"The kiosk program at Universal Studios Escape's Islands of Adventure is a natural fit, aligning our online service with the world's most technologically advanced theme park," Redling said. "We are happy to offer this service to existing AOL members as well as to provide a vehicle for potential members to experience AOL's fun, ease of use and convenience."